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THE HIGHEST EXCELLENCE IS LIKE WATER
by Laozi (604 BCE - 531 BCE, Spring and Autumn Period)
English translation: James Legge

The highest excellence is like that of water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving to the contrary, the low place which all men dislike. Hence its way is near to that of the Tao. The excellence of a residence is in the suitability of the place; that of the mind is in abysmal stillness; that of associations is in their being with the virtuous; that of words is in their trustworthiness; that of government is in its securing good order; that of the conduct of affairs is in its ability; and that of the initiation of any movement is in its timeliness. And when one with the highest excellence does not wrangle about his low position, no one finds fault with him.

── from Tao Te Ching